Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Tuesday 8th February 2011


Frosty and foggy at first light, but this soon lifted and thawed to give a long-awaited, windless, blue-sky day.  Oaken Wood was alive with bird song; Song Thrush, Blue TitGreat Tit and Robin approved the change in weather.


By Gallagher's Gallop a Green Woodpecker looped across the track, and a glance across to the band of silver birches revealed a Gallup of Redpolls.  I spent a good half hour scanning through the 35+ birds, which became literately a pain in the neck!


They all looked to be Lesser Redpolls to me, although I caught a brief glimpse of one that I wasn't sure about, it kinda looked grey!



 Back out at lunch to check if the Redpolls were still around (they weren't) I was elated to see a couple of Buzzards drifting over the N edge of Oaken Wood and into East Malling airspace (no 79 for East Malling tetrad).


The birds seemed to be interacting and the darker bird kept trying to lock talons and twisting around (displaying?).  Eventually they drifted apart and the pale bird (juvenile) drifted back to Oaken Wood.  It had warmed up nicely now and I half expected a butterfly to flutter past, but I had to be content with a Ladybird tucked up in the seed head of a Clematis.


A Coal Tit was another welcome addition to the day list and the Little Owl was in it's usual spot.


Checking my strawberry plots on the Research Station in the afternoon I picked a large flock of Gulls on some newly-ploughed land, 90+ predominantly Black-headed but also some Common and Herring Gulls.


I put up 40+ Linnets from some set-aside as I cycled past, and 10x Skylarks and a lone Yellowhammer followed.

I noticed some birds flitting around a plot of Miscanthus and presumed they were more Yellowhammers of Linnets but as I got closer I realised they were Reed Buntings!  I've only had one on the Research Station site, a lone birds 5-6 years ago, but this was Mural of 13 birds! Lovely - no 80 for the tetrad.




6 comments:

Kier said...

Hi,
fantastic photos you have on here. I am based in Offham near West Malling and it is interesting to see a few species that I have missed this year on your list (Bullfinch, Linnet,...). We have had a great winter for Siskin, Redpolls and Goldfinch but not so good for Greenfinch and Sparrow. On the plus side though we seemed to have gained a Nuthatch in the garden and a Buzzard by the quarry. I really should setup a blog to post the photos!

Kieron

Phil said...

Nice post Adam and some very nice pics. Yesterday was a perfect day for Buzzard watching it seems.

Warren Baker said...

Seems i'm the only one to miss out on the buzzards yesterday!

Great bird species recorded Adam, the farmland ones I mean.

Adam said...

Thanks for the comments folks.

Kieron, great to from another 'local' birder. Set up a blog, I'd love to hear what's over that neck of the woods (and you've got Mereworth on your doorstep for those Nightjars and Woodcock in May!). If you don't already do so enter your records for Otham on the BTO Atlas, I noticed Lesser Redpoll is missing Offham. If you don't get time then by all means sent me a list by email (adam.whitehouse@emr.ac.uk) and I'll put them on there for you - but don't hang around the winter Atlas finishes at the end of this month).

Adam

Adam said...

Thanks for the comments folks.

Kieron, great to from another 'local' birder. Set up a blog, I'd love to hear what's over that neck of the woods (and you've got Mereworth on your doorstep for those Nightjars and Woodcock in May!). If you don't already do so enter your records for Otham on the BTO Atlas, I noticed Lesser Redpoll is missing Offham. If you don't get time then by all means sent me a list by email (adam.whitehouse@emr.ac.uk) and I'll put them on there for you - but don't hang around the winter Atlas finishes at the end of this month).

Adam

Kieron said...

Thanks Adam, I have updated the atlas with today's list so the Redpoll should be listed by the morning. Mereworth Woods is quite literally on my doorstep and I will be keeping an eye out for the Nightjars and Woodcocks come summer and maybe the Buzzard will land for me too! I have created a blog at http://offhambirds.blogspot.com/ and will update that with my progress. I might have to venture East towards your area to finally get my Bullfinch photo!